Everything is turning up cauliflower. The new “it” vegetable, cauliflower no longer has the reputation of the shy second cousin of its cabbage and kale relatives although it lacks the jazzy color of shocked broccoli or glazed carrots. Cauliflower has joined the vegetable fashion forward crowd. Disguised in veggie couture, this roasted, cumin and chili powder infused, and accessorized to the nines with homemade pickled jalapeños, chopped avocado, and melted habanero cheddar recipe is ready for any nacho lover’s fashion runway.
Ingredients for the nachos1 medium head cauliflower, florets sliced into 1/4” thick pieces 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon smokey paprika 1/4 teaspoon chili powder 1 cup habañero cheddar cheese, shredded 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained 1/4 cup red onion, chopped 1/4 cup pepitas 1/2 avocado, diced 1 scallion, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only 8 tiny tomatoes, chopped 4 ounces tortilla chips 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, optional
for the pickled jalapeños5 jalapeños, thinly sliced 1 whole garlic clove, thinly sliced 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar 1/2 cup water 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
Directions for the nachos
- Preheat oven to 425º.
- On a half sheet baking tray add the cauliflower and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the salt, cumin, paprika, and chili powder over the cauliflower. Use your hands to toss and coat the seasoning and cauliflower as evenly as possibly. Roast until tender and a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven and top cauliflower with the beans and red onion, and then the cheese. Return tray to the oven and watch carefully. Remove as soon as the cheese is completely melted.
- Garnish with pickled jalapeños, the sliced scallions, and serve immediately.
For the pickled jalapeños
- Put the jalapeños in a glass bowl or jar. Add the garlic slices.
- Put the vinegar, water, sugar and salt into a 1 quart saucepan. Simmer the mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
- Pour the brine over the jalapeños. Let cool to room temp, then cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
The pickled jalapeños last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator -- the recipe is easily doubled or tripled. The jalapeños mellow and sweeten over time. To decrease the spiciness, simply use regular cheddar rather than the habañero cheddar.